- 18 Mar 2013
On Wednesday last week we visited the Retail Business Technology Expo. Held at Earls Court in London the event was filled with interesting technologies, our favourite retail publications and plenty of treats.
We arrived early on in the day ready to attend seminars and learn more about new technologies at the various stands. Some of our highlights from the show were:
One of the technologies we encountered was a facial recognition system. The technology worked by scanning the faces of people as they approached the exhibition booth, recording them and keeping a record of them on file. It would then convert the face into demographic data such as approximate age, gender and also add information such as dwell time etc. The data collected on Wednesday allowed the exhibitors to pull together information regarding the people at the show. In this case showing that the majority of attendees passing the booth were male and 30+. The good thing about this system is that should the same person return later on, the system would identify that it was the same person rather than starting a new file.
This technology would be useful in a retail environment as it could be used to alert the store if a known shoplifter enters or, alternatively, send an alert if a high spender came into the store – maximising the opportunity to upsell.
Another technology company to impress was Touch2View, a digital engagement specialist presenting apps on giant interactive tablets. Describing themselves as a company that ‘combine creative content with cutting edge technology to convey the message in a stylish, simple and engaging way,’ this technology allows for small scale apps to translate into something larger. For example, we saw Angry Birds being played on a giant screen.
This product would be very useful in a retail environment as it could be used as a look book service, or as a way to order clothes to be delivered to your local store, should you be in there and find that what you are looking for is out of stock.
Touch screen shopping
We also saw an impressive display from Box Technologies. Using content from fashion store ‘Oasis’ they created a system that allows for large touch screen shopping in store. It allowed the user to browse through outfits or individual items on a large screen and add to basket, or get the item ready for trying on in the changing room. This information is then sent to a sales person in store, who selects the clothing ready for the customer when they reach the fitting rooms/till. Box Technologies also had a virtual fitting room on display, giving people the chance to see what an outfit looks like without physically trying it on.
This would be useful in retail as it saves time, gives the customer more freedom and introduces digital technology into the bricks and mortar stores, offering the chance for retailers to join up their multichannel capabilities in a smooth and simple transition. Therefore, if items weren’t in the store, but were available from their central stock pool it could be viewed though these technologies.
Did you attend RBTE this year? Did anything in particular stand out to you?